Betfred Sport

Championship round-up: Southampton slip up but go top on goal difference

Southampton returned to the top of the Championship on Good Friday on goal difference, after a thrilling 2-2 draw against local rivals Portsmouth.

Billy Sharp gave the home side the lead in the 27th minute, but Chris Maguire fired into the top left corner from outside the area to level on 36 minutes.

On 89 minutes, Sharp found the back of the net with a close range effort from inside the six yard box, but his strike was initially ruled out for offside. However, an assistant referee's flag went up and following consultation between the referee and his assistant, the goal stood.

It looked like that would be Southampton's winner, to give them a two point lead over Reading, but Portsmouth snatched an equaliser four minutes into stoppage time when David Norris (pictured) let fly with a volley from just outside the area and his strike found the bottom left corner.

With five games remaining, Southampton and Reading are locked on 79 points, with the Saints eight goals better off on goal difference.

West Ham are four points adrift in third place, meaning that if Southampton and Reading can win four of their last five games, they will secure automatic promotion, even if the Hammers win all of their last five games.

Southampton can go three points clear at the top if they win at Crystal Palace on Monday, and West Ham can close the gap on Reading to one point if they can beat promotion rivals Birmingham at Upton Park in Monday's late game.

In-form Reading, who have won 12 and drawn one of their last 14 games, visit Brighton on Tuesday evening.

The Saints host the Royals on Friday (kick-off 7.45pm).

Saturday's other results:

Birmingham vs Crystal Palace


Birmingham 1-0, 21 minutes, Chris Burke

Birmingham 2-0, 22 minutes, Keith Fahey

Birmingham 3-0, 32 minutes, David Murphy

Cristal Palace 3-1, 45 minutes, Owen Garvan

Coventry vs Peterborough


Peterborough 0-1, 3 minutes, Emile Sinclair

Coventry 1-1, 26 minutes, Cody McDonald

Coventry 2-1, 45 minutes, Gary McSheffrey (penalty)

Peterborough 2-2, 76 minutes, Emile Sinclair

Derby vs Ipswich


Leicester vs Doncaster


Leicester 1-0, 33 minutes, Daniel Drinkwater

Leicester 2-0, 47 minutes, Lee Peltier

Leicester 3-0, 78 minutes, Ben Marshall

Leicester 4-0, 88 minutes, Paul Gallagher

Middlesbrough vs Cardiff


Cardiff 0-1, 11 minutes, Ben Turner

Cardiff 0-2, 19 minutes, Joe Mason

Millwall vs Hull


Millwall 1-0, 25 minutes, Harry Kane

Millwall 2-0, 81 minutes, Andrew Keogh (penalty)

Nottingham Forest vs Bristol City


Bristol City 0-1, 55 minutes, Chris Wood (penalty)

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